Students Experience Mission Shadowing Trip to Peru

Published by Brooke Lange 7 months ago on Thu, Jul 6, 2023 7:26 AM
(Left to right) Lydia Schultz, Esther Langness, Aarin Dean, and Devon Reitz assist with Sunday School activities.
(Left to right) Lydia Schultz, Esther Langness, Aarin Dean, and Devon Reitz assist with Sunday School activities.

From May 9-16, Dr. Brian Gauthier, assistant professor of theology, Amy Hubach, assistant professor of education and five students: Esther Langness, Devon Reitz, Aarin Dean, Christina Lee, and Lydia Schultz went on a mission trip to Peru. This trip was designed to shadow LCMS missionaries serving in Lima as well as the local Peruvian Lutheran Church leaders to learn about the work of church planting and showing mercy through Castillo Fuerte in the three mission sites of the city of Lima.   

The group spent most of their time in Lima as well as at the local Peruvian churches. They shadowed local missionaries during every part of the mission work, even during parts that one would not normally expect. Their time was spent participating in worship and Bible study, doing home and evangelism visits, helping with Sunday School, and leading an after-school program for kids at a church site, but also sitting in traffic and participating in meetings about how to best expand the church.  

Lydia Schultz, a junior on the trip, appreciated the time the team got to spend doing home visits. “It was really cool to be welcomed into people’s homes and to get to hear their stories. It was moving to hear how much trust they put in God in every part of their life.”  

The trip was valuable for the experiences had, but also for the connections people were able to make: either new ones or reconnections with old friends. For Dr. Gauthier, it was a meaningful trip because of the opportunity he had to see his students from his time being a professor at Seminario Concordia El Reformador in the Dominican Republic. “I loved listening to them sit around the table and talk about plans and how to best proclaim the Gospel and use the resources they have to bless the people of Peru.”  

It became clear to Gauthier that the Concordia students were encouraged through the work they were surrounded by. “In general, students are used to a big church body that has been well-established. The mission field has small churches and preaching stations where evangelism is the heartbeat of the work. To hear them thinking about how they can do evangelism back home as future church workers is encouraging.”  

Schultz echoes this point, “It was amazing to see that no matter where in the world we are, the church of God is still united in the death and resurrection of Christ, and even if we aren't speaking the same language, in our hearts we believe the same thing.” 

Interested in discovering more about serve abroad opportunities at Concordia? Learn more here.